Fail – In the First Five Minutes

Sometimes an examinee fails their road test immediately. For example the examinee performs a dangerous action while pulling out to start the test. They thought they had a safe gap in front of a car approaching, but the examiner stopped them because he/she thought it wasn’t safe. So the question is: does the road test continue, or is it ended?

I recently asked the driver examiner supervisor at the Point Grey ICBC to confirm this for me. The answer is that they continue with the road test. Even though the examinee has already failed, the examiner would still like to give the driver an evaluation of their driving overall so they know what to work on for the next attempt. (This is the policy of the Point Grey ICBC; it may be different at other ICBC licensing offices.) Of course if the examinee is driving in an unsafe manner and is hazard on the road, the examiner will definitely guide the examinee back to the ICBC office and not put the driver, examiner, and other road users at risk.

There different opinions about this. The feeling of some examinees is, I know I failed, so why torture me with going through the whole road test? Why waste my time? The other viewpoint is, I paid my thirty-five or fifty bucks, give me a proper driving test, just don’t tell me I failed. Let me do some turns and parking and lane changes, and give me some proper feedback.

During a road test, the examiner is not allowed to tell the examinee that they have failed. They are supposed to save the bad news for the end. But sometimes it is very obvious that the examinee has failed. For example, if the examiner yells “stop!” or grabs the steering wheel to avoid a collision, you know you’re toast. In this situation, the examiner may go back early if they can see you are a little traumatized. If it’s a non-dangerous fail like getting the car onto the sidewalk during a parallel park, they’ll just keep on going. If you know you have failed and want to go back, just tell the examiner.

Hopefully you have a successful road test at Point Grey. If you do happen to fail early, just carry on, do your best, and listen to the valuable feedback from one the professional Point Grey driver examiners.